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Does Twilight depict statutory rape?

  1. Nov 24, 2008 #1
    Does “Twilight” depict statutory rape?

    Twilight: So he's 108 and she's, what, 15 or 16? Is that kosher?

    I haven't seen the movie or read any of the books. But it says on several web sites that
    at the end of the third book, Eclipse, they have sex.
    It's not that I object specifically to this particular series but a few years ago I started noticing how frequently science fiction and fantasy genre movies and books depict relationships that are technically statutory rape, between a teenager and someone who is decades older or more. Sometimes it's even more borderline than this with the teenager being twelve or thirteen or something.

    I'm not particularly prudish but I just don't quite know what to make of it, particularly because it's usually done without even blinking, without the slightest hint that it's kinda libertine.

    P.S. A funny observation from Slate about vampire movies.
     
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  3. Nov 24, 2008 #2

    cristo

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    Re: Does “Twilight” depict statutory rape?

    I think the day we read science fiction and try to apply real life laws/morals to them is a very sad day indeed. Is there a law that says vampires cannot have sex with 16 year old girls? No.. because they don't exist!
     
  4. Nov 24, 2008 #3
    Re: Does “Twilight” depict statutory rape?

    I dunno, I think the standards that are portrayed in literature and other media have relevance. I think it's a good thing that characters who are portrayed as heroes, for example, (usually) do not behave in a cruel or wantonly murderous fashion. The closest you usually get to that is "antiheroes" like the Punisher who are all revenge-driven and a little bit kooky.

    Similarly, I think it would be bad if sympathetically-depicted characters displayed and accepted racism, no matter how fictional or outré the setting was.

    There are unquestionably artistic reasons which I think are totally legit to have movies or stories like A Clockwork Orange but those are adult themes. Twilight and some of the other stuff I'm talking about are marketed to children. And what I'm saying, anyways, isn't that it's outright offensive or something, just that it seems weird that these stories don't ask the basic question what's up with that? A Clockwork Orange had the protagonist as a rapist-murderer addicted to ultraviolence but it was asking how society ought to deal with that and whether it might be just as wrong to brainwash it out of him.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2008
  5. Nov 24, 2008 #4

    mgb_phys

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    Re: Does “Twilight” depict statutory rape?

    You might want to check that Bible book. Murder, rape violence, genocide, daughters sold into slavery ......

    I know it's only a story but imagine if some impressionable people took it seriously - it could cause trouble.
     
  6. Nov 24, 2008 #5
    Re: Does “Twilight” depict statutory rape?

    Oh, totally. It happens all the time - have you seen the guys who literally take up snakes, for example, and intentionally get bitten and often die? Thanks for agreeing with me mgb_phys, that's a good supporting point. It's great to have people around here who sycophantically kiss the butt of the original poster in a thread.

    (Warning may contain irony)
     
  7. Nov 24, 2008 #6

    mgb_phys

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    Re: Does “Twilight” depict statutory rape?

    ps. You probably don't want to read any Robert Heinlein
     
  8. Nov 24, 2008 #7
    Re: Does “Twilight” depict statutory rape?

    Why? Because I'm obviously a prudish up-tight Christian who would be freaked out by cross-gender mind transplants? (I mean, seriously, I'm talking about appreciating A Clockwork Orange and you think you're going to rock my world with Heinlein references?)

    Sorry to not fulfill your stereotypes but I'm an atheist. You don't have to be a conservative Evangelical Christian or something to think that a forty or fifty or hundred-and-eight year old having sex with a teenager is sketchy, nor to think that convincing ten and eleven and twelve-year-old moviegoers that such a thing is run of the mill is sketchy too.
     
  9. Nov 24, 2008 #8

    cristo

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    Re: Does “Twilight” depict statutory rape?

    Erm.. the movie's rated PG-13..
     
  10. Nov 24, 2008 #9
    Re: Does “Twilight” depict statutory rape?

    LOL well I'm sure that no one under 13 will be going to see it, then, and it isn't being marketed towards them at all.

    I know that teenagers can deal with issues of sexuality maturely and I'm not saying that they're a bunch of blind zombies who believe anything they see. I'm saying that it's weird that this topic comes up so often without the question of whether it's kosher being asked. So that's what I'm doing, asking the question.

    (For all I know, since I haven't seen or read it, maybe Twilight actually does ask the question itself. I'm saying that from a pretty broad familiarity with sci-fi and fantasy stuff there isn't much of any reflection on it.)
     
  11. Nov 24, 2008 #10

    DaveC426913

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    Re: Does “Twilight” depict statutory rape?

    Your argument seems to be the moral equivalent of penny-wise, pound foolish.

    In my quite humble opinion on the matter of stat rape, it seems that it needs a relatively morally-structured society in which to mean much. There's so many, many opportunities for the abuse of innocence in our world of reality that this seems more of a fine-tuning.

    But in this fictional world its very premise is the existence of unholy creatures who suck the blood of, and murder, innocent victims (I think, anyway). Seems a little hair-splitting to worry about sexual innocence.

    In fact, it's a variation on the same theme of Westerner' wonky sense of values. You can tear their heads off with as much gore as you want, but hint at sex and it gets slapped with an adult content rating...
     
  12. Nov 24, 2008 #11

    mgb_phys

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    Re: Does “Twilight” depict statutory rape?

    No christians would be right behind twilight!

    "So god's like infinitely old and Mary, what, 15 or 16? and definately kosher!"
     
  13. Nov 24, 2008 #12
    Re: Does “Twilight” depict statutory rape?

    sorry to be off topic, but what is with all this hype about this film? I mean the hype was already there before the release and voters on imdb arent really fond of it at the moment with only a 5+rating out of a 10.
     
  14. Nov 24, 2008 #13
    Re: Does “Twilight” depict statutory rape?

    Correct me if I'm wrong but from the trailers it looks like 108-year-old vampire character is as usual the "good guy" vampire, the one who doesn't go around murdering people. Nothing to do with penny-wise / pound-foolish at all: I'm saying that the sympathetic hero hot good guy is in essence a geriatric guy who tries to get laid by a teenager.

    It just seems to me that, consciously or unconsciously, many or most of these instances aren't literary devices but are the authors working out their own sexual issues. The author of this series is a Mormon woman, btw.

    Oh, you're such an iconoclast. Keep up the daring exposition of all the things that I'm sure no one knows about Christianity.

    The "may contain irony" thing only goes so far, man. Once every post is you tossing off one-liners that you think are all shocking and deep or whatever it gets pretty old.
     
  15. Nov 24, 2008 #14
    Re: Does “Twilight” depict statutory rape?

    Yeah, seriously. As the years go by I am always more and more amazed that every few years some new phenomenon seems to top the previous one at the number of teenage girls screaming at the top of their lungs it can get together.

    There was a clip on the news of a cast appearance that showed a five or six story atrium in a mall somewhere packed to the gills with girls looking down and screaming. It was like the Galactic Senate from Star Wars but filled with screaming teenage girls.
     
  16. Nov 24, 2008 #15

    mgb_phys

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    Re: Does “Twilight” depict statutory rape?

    From the movie poster in that link the vampire appears the same physical age as the girl (obviously because this is just a high school teen movie with a vampire plot) so the fact that he is chronologically 108 years old is different from if he was a 40 year old looking vampire (eg David Bowie in The Hunger) who was 108 years old. That would not have got a 13 rating!

    Similairly a Manga cartoon where the heroine is really an ageless god but only appears to be a 12year old girl when being raped by something with tentacles wouldn't get a 13 rating in the US even though it is legal. In Lord of the Rings Aragorn does the deed with an elf who is at least several 1000years old, he is presuambly in kindergarten from an immortal elf point of view.

    The move rating boards tend to go on what appears to be happening in a movie (two teenagers) rather than taking into account immortals or presuambly frames of reference approaching 'c'.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2008
  17. Nov 24, 2008 #16

    Art

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    Re: Does “Twilight” depict statutory rape?

    No. There is no even fictional statutory rape. Bella is 18 in the 3rd book - Eclipse; (17 in the first book and 19 in the 4th) She becomes an ageless vampire herself in the 4th book btw.

    I hope that smooths your sensibilities. Don't feel too bad I'm sure you'll find something new to be outraged about soon :tongue:
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2008
  18. Nov 24, 2008 #17

    DaveC426913

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    Re: Does “Twilight” depict statutory rape?

    Yes but the institution of vampirism is that they are undead and must murder to survive. The fact that this one seems to have a heart of gold is a detail.

    Imagine this scenario applied in real life.

    "Honey! Our daughter is going out again with that gangsta street-racing drug-dealer!"
    "Oh stop being such a fuddy-fuddy! All his friends are gangsta street-racing drug dealers, but he's not. I'm sure she won't lose her innocence to the drug culture with him around..."
     
  19. Nov 24, 2008 #18

    mgb_phys

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    Re: Does “Twilight” depict statutory rape?

    Do all Vampires have Transylvanian citizenship?
    I think she wanted to get bitten to get an EU passport, bloody foreign vampires coming over taking our jobs, biting our women......
     
  20. Nov 24, 2008 #19
    Re: Does “Twilight” depict statutory rape?

    An 18-year-old looking guy having sex with a 17-year-old? How disgusting!!!
     
  21. Nov 24, 2008 #20
    Re: Does “Twilight” depict statutory rape?

    Well maybe there'll be a movie with gay ancient vampires getting married to teenaged boys and then we can get outraged together. :tongue:

    Unless he's heroically disciplining his vampirism and avoiding killing anyone, being portrayed as the stoic principled self-sacrificer, like in all the other vampire stories.

    It has nothing to do with her losing her innocence. My point is that if it's being portrayed as though it's essentially like a girl messing around with her slightly older boyfriend that seems a bit oblique to me.

    It's like the daughter losing her innocence to the gangsta kid's fifty year old crime boss uncle, it seems to me, and portraying that as supa hot because he's all dangerous and powerful. To ten-eleven-twelve year olds and sundry in the audience. But I dunno, maybe you guys would be perfectly okay with that.
     
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